Minimizing Barriers to Using the Library
As of July 1, Arlington Public Library eliminated overdue library fines to make the library’s collections accessible to all Arlingtonians and library patrons. The goal is to increase access to and minimize barriers for marginalized populations to use the library, particularly for youth and low-income patrons.
“Every member of our community has a right to library services and library fines and fees are known barriers to use. We are pleased that we can eliminate these long- standing barriers and continue our mission to reach everyone regardless of their socioeconomic background,” says Diane Kresh, Director of Arlington Public Library.
The elimination of fines will reduce the Library fine budget by an expected $155,000 in anticipated revenue to $10,000 in FY 2021. The $10,000 remains in the budget due to the continuation of replacement fees for lost items.
Patrons will be able to borrow an item for up to twelve weeks if no other patron has placed a hold or up to 3 weeks if another patron has a hold on the item.
If the item is not returned at the end of the loan period, a grace period of twenty-eight days will come into effect. The patron will not accrue overdue fines during the twenty-eight days. If the item is not returned by the end of the grace period, the item is considered lost and a replacement fee will be charged. If a replacement fee is charged and the item is later returned, the fee is reversed. The replacement fee is dependent on the cost of the book.
Going forward, patrons who either lose or fail to return items to the Library will be assessed a replacement fee that will affect their ability to borrow, renew, place holds on materials, or log in to premium sites, such as Consumer Reports until the fee has been paid or the item has been returned.
Patrons with existing fines will still need to pay those. During the library closure, no fines were accrued for checked-out items.
- By phone at 703-228-5260; Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
- By mail with a check or money order mailed to Central Library, Attention: Circulation, 1015 N. Quincy St, Arlington, VA 22201
- Please include the library card number with the payment and make the check payable to “Treasurer of Arlington County.”
To find out more about borrowing, loan periods and renewals, visit the accounts information page.